COVID-19: Half of central govt staff to work from home

COVID-19: Work from home for half of Central govt employees, staggered timing for rest

AFP photo for representation

Half of the middle and lower level employees of central government will be working from home while the timing for those attending offices will be staggered till April 4 as part of the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Issuing fresh set of directions to central government offices on Thursday, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said all Heads of Department (HoDs)are advised to draft a weekly roster of duty of Group B and C staff and ask them to attend office on alternate weeks.

"Heads of Department may ensure 50% of Group and Group C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50% should be instructed to work from home...While deciding the roster for the first week, HoDs are advised to include officials who are residing in close proximity to their office or use their own transport to travel to the offices," it said.

The office memorandum on 'preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19' said the working hours for all employees who attend office on a particular day should be staggered.

Three groups of employees should be formed and assign them different office timings --9 AM and to 5:30 PM, 9:30 PM to 6 PM and 10 AM to 6:30 PM.

"The officials who are working from home on a particular day as per the roster drawn up should be available on telephone and electronic means of communication at all times. They should attend office, if called for any exigency of work," the DoPT said.

However, these instructions will not apply to the offices and employees engaged in essential and emergency services and those directly engaged in taking measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

On March 17, the DoPT had issued instructions to install thermal scanners at the entry of government buildings, as feasible. It also wanted mandatory placing of hand sanitizers at the entry and those found having flu-like symptoms should be advised to take proper treatment or quarantine.

It had also asked offices to discourage, to the maximum extent, entry of visitors in the office complex. Routine issue of visitors/temporary passes should be suspended with immediate effect while meetings, as far as feasible, should be done through video conferencing.

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